Obama Says Average American Doesn't Want to 'Tear Down System'

Barack Obama wearing a suit and tie Former President Barack Obama has mostly remained out of the public fray since leaving office

Barack Obama wearing a suit and tie Former President Barack Obama has mostly remained out of the public fray since leaving office

Immigration and health care are two issues he cited as cases where Democratic candidates are out of sync with public sentiment.

"One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States - maybe it's true here as well - is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, 'Uh, I'm sorry, this is how it's going to be, ' and then we start sometimes creating what's called a 'circular firing squad, ' where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues", he said at the time.

While Mr. Obama did not single out any specific primary candidate or policy proposal, he cautioned that the universe of voters that could support a Democratic candidate - Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans - are not driven by the same views reflected on "certain left-leaning Twitter feeds" or "the activist wing of our party".

Former President Barack Obama took a veiled, yet fairly clear, shot at Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren when he told a group that Americans don't "think that we have to completely tear down the system and remake it".

Mr Obama said Democrats risked alienating voters if they lurched too far to the left politically.

But Mr Obama, who occupied the White House from 2009 to 2017, said the country was "less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement".

The comments marked an extraordinary entrance into the primary contest by the former president, who has been careful to avoid even the appearance of influencing the direction of the race. At the same time, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has made his strong support for Mr. Obama and his accomplishments a hallmark of his candidacy. "They like seeing things improved".

Obama has expressed concerns for several months now that Democrats may be moving too far to the left.

The fact that Mr. Obama offered his reassurances at the annual meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a club of wealthy liberals who donate hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to recommended political organizations, only underscored the intended audience of his message.

Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during a recent debate.

Their concerns have prompted the late emergence of two experienced candidates, Deval Patrick , the former governor of MA and a close friend of Mr. Obama, and Michael R. Bloomberg , both of whom entered the field after nine candidates had already dropped out. "We haven't been sitting around in New Hampshire saying we need a hero to come and rescue us".

The former president, speaking at a fundraising event, said most voters didn't want to "tear down the system".

He was interviewed by Stacey Abrams, a rising star in the party who narrowly lost the Georgia governor's race previous year.

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